[THE INVESTOR] Hanwha Total, a 50:50 joint venture between Hanwha Group and France’s Total, participated in the recent bidding to acquire Singapore’s Jurong Aromatics Corp., or JAC, which operates one of the world’s largest integrated aromatics plants, the Korea Economic Daily reported on March 10.
The report said Hanwha Total is one of the six bidders for acquiring bankrupt JAC. Specialist restructuring firm Borelli Walsh is managing the deal.
JAC, located on Jurong Island, Singapore, was set up in 2011 with a 3 trillion won (US$2.59 billion) funding from multiple investors, including South Korean conglomerate SK Group and Chinese polyester maker Jiangsu Sanfangxiang.
The aromatics plant went into receivership in 2015 because of debt problems amid falling fuel prices. But more recently the bidders are paying renewed attention to the facility as fuel prices are recovering.
They are eyeing to acquire JAC’s assets worth US$540 million, not the stakes that are useless now.
Along with Hanwha Total, Korea’s Lotte Chemical is also said to have participated in the bidding.
Both Hanwha Total and Lotte Chemical were previously owned by Samsung before the nation’s largest conglomerate sold off its less profitable chemicals business to the local rivals in 2014.
A preferred bidder for JAC is expected to be named later this month.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)